Saturday, December 10, 2011
Marinated Broccoli Salad
How to tell it's been a busy week around our house. There are three cat food bowls in the sink and two wine glasses in the dish drainer. Otherwise, the kitchen appears to be unused. Lunch is what we can find from the freezer because there are no leftovers. The mail is stacked neatly in the mail cubby. And, on the desk because the cubby is full. There's a stack of current papers on my hassock. And, when you open my blog there's nothing new there. Ah, yes, Christmas season is upon us.
Tuesday I went to a continuing education meeting followed by a cocktail hour at a new restaurant right up the street. I was deep in conversation with my friend Matt (whose mom provided the awesome roasted cauliflower recipe that we love so much) when the wait staff announced we needed to clear the room for the next batch of folks. There were boxes to take home the rest of the appetizers if we so desired. Sign me up. It'd mean Connie'd have a great dinner. Shrimp cocktail, New York strip slices, toasted ravioli, pizza, brownies. All from the new Harry and Izzy's - an offshoot of St. Elmo's Steak House. Connie inhaled the goodies when I got home. We're looking forward to eating dinner there sometime next time spring when the lines die down!
Wednesday, we met our friends Donna and Phil for dinner so we could see them one more time before they head to Florida for the winter. More and more of our friends are becoming snow birds. It's making me feel old! This time, we headed to Noah Grant's in Zionsville. They have a really fun wine list. Normally, I can pick up a wine list and know half the bottles. This time I knew one winery and that was it. We wound up with a bottle of pinot noir that was just about perfect. Shooting Star. Donna took a photo of the bottle so I'll be able to get a copy and hopefully find the wine.
Thursday was the monthly wine dinner at Chef Joseph's. He really outdid himself this time. Our favorite was a black sesame cone filled with a shrimp and jalapeno concoction with a melon salsa on the side. I'd happily devour one of those daily. We sat with folks we've gotten to know over the years so that made it even more fun.
Ah, ha! That means I have an opportunity to go into the vast archives of photos I've taken and chat about a wonderful recipe that never made it to the blog. Not too long ago I bought the Neely's Celebration Cookbook. If those folks are as much fun as they sound, I'd love to spend a day with them! The cookbook has fantastic recipes - many of which are on my make soon list.
My contribution to the Thanksgiving dinner was two vegetables and an appetizer. Brother John suggested broccoli since that's something that everyone will actually eat. My mind immediately went to this recipe. It's a bit different from the traditional broccoli salad. And, will be my go-to version in the future. It's perfect. I wouldn't make any changes to the recipe.
Marinated Broccoli Salad
6 c broccoli florets
2 T honey
3 T red-wine vinegar
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 c slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 c dried cranberries
LIghtly steam the broccoli. The original recipe called for blanching it which will work also. I just prefer steaming the broccoli. You want it to be tender crisp and bright green so don't overcook it! To stop the cooking, immerse it in a bowl of cold water. Drain it well and put it in a big bowl.
Next, you're going to make the dressing. Whisk together the honey, vinegar, pepper and crushed red pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
Toss together the broccoli, cranberries, almonds, bacon and red onion.
Drizzle the dressing over and toss. Serve.
from The Neely's Celebration Cookbook